A new decree signed by Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso has brought the Curipamba mining project closer to receiving an environmental permit.

The decree concerns environmental consultation across all sectors in the country.

It will guide the formal consultation process required as part of all environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA).

With the new decree, the Curipamba copper-gold project enters the next phase of the environmental licensing process.

The project partners received the technical approval of ESIA for the project in May last year.

The decree outlines steps for a new environmental consultation process.

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By GlobalData

Companies will have to fulfil the requirement of two rounds of formal community consultations led by the government.

They will be on the lines of several community consultations conducted since the discovery of the El Domo deposit within the project in 2008.

Adventus Mining and Salazar Resources are partners in Curimining, which owns the Curipamba project.

In a statement, Adventus and Salazar said: “Current guidance from the Government of Ecuador is that the consultation process is expected to require four to six months to the signing and issuance of the environmental licence for El Domo construction.

“This suggests that full construction activities could therefore begin as early as in October 2023.”

Meanwhile, the companies intend to finalise other necessary permits to initiate construction.

The Curipamba project has seven concessions encompassing about 21,500ha.

It includes the high-grade copper-gold El Domo deposit, which is a flat-lying tabular-shaped volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit.